UBA: Tony Elumelu Ship Berths In France With A message: Africa Does Not Need Foreign Aid But Investment To Create Wealth And Job For Youths

By Stephen Ubanna

Tony Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, plc appears to have taken his investment Campaigns message in Africa to France, a member country of the European Union, EU. Elumelu, who is the   founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, popular, TEF, has  given France and other global  investors an insight about  the investment Opportunities  in Africa .

On the invitation of the France Invest  Africa  Club, the UBA Chairman and founder, TEF, had attended the ‘’Ambition Africa’’ Conference’’ on Wednesday , October  30, 2019. Given the importance attached to the Conference by the  EU, particular  Emmanuel Macron, led government of France, Bruno Le Maire, the country’s minister  of Economy and Finance was  said to have been part of the Conference.

The Nigerian investor and Philanthropist  who was said to have been introduced  to the audience  by Maire, the French minister,  was said to have to have urged the  French investors  to ‘’position themselves  and direct investment towards  Africa  in order to the end the cycle of  poverty’’. The minister is optimistic that  if the French investors  could direct their investment towards the African Continent, it would ‘’accelerate global development ’’.

Maire who could not hide his admiration for Elumelu, the Nigerian investor, over the laudable work he is doing in strengthening  the Small and Medium Scales , SMEs , industries  in the African Continent , noted that it  would  catalyse development.

The France minister of Economy and Finance, may have gladdened the heart of  the UBA  Chairman when he said ,’’we share  the same ambition  in supporting  African SMEs and Entrepreneurs as this  is essential  for the economic  development of the Continent’’ .

Indeed,the presence of Elumelu,   at the Invest  for Growth in African Conference, may have forced  the  minister, to give his words that  the  government  will ensure  that  ‘’investments  in Africa, described as a  backward and poverty driven Continent  are ‘’sustainable, exemplary and environmentally friendly’’. He assured  that France  will want to go fast, go quickly  in the race against poverty and renunciation throughout the Continent. He may have spoken the mind of Macron, the French President.

The Nigerian investor  may have the Conference as  an opportunity  to sell Africa to the world  as he stressed that  France , which is one of the Industralised nations in the world need to do much better  and be much smarter in ‘’channeling  funds to emerging new markets  in the world like Nigeria and other African countries. Take for instance, Nigeria , with a population of over 200 million people, is a huge market for any foreign investor.

Iis not surprising why the UBA  Chairman had said that the  new emerging  markets ‘’present huge  opportunities  as well as risks  for investors’’. He urged  investors who are ready  to channel their funds towards  Africa t  to ‘’fulfill  a critical need  that would catalyse  and improve the Continental economy. He was said  to have cited  some French Companies which had  established their presence in Africa and are making appreciable impact   such as Bouygues, Acor, Orange and Bollore. There are  several others which were said to have  accepted the challenge to invest in Africa. These French Companies, according to sources are notable names in the Telecommunication , Computer and Maritime sectors of the world economy. Take for instance Bollore, which is overseeing one of the seaports at Republic of Benin named after the Company. The port alone, the Value News was informed handles over 60 percent of the cargo imports into the French speaking country, particular, foreign par boiled rice bulk cargo.

This may have  informed  why  the TEF founder had stressed the  need for  private equity inflow  into the  African Continent  ,with a focus on investing  in SMEs business, described as the’’ lifeblood of the African economy’’.  Given his knowledge of the African  economy , he stated  that the Continent has  the youngest workforce  in the world ,  noting that over 60 percent of the population  fall below  age 25, described as a ‘’demographic potential doom if the Youths have no job to do.

He however, said that ‘’it could be turned around to become an asset for the Continent  if there are jobs and economic opportunities. Elumelu was said to have made mockery of the Industrialised  and  rich nations regular aid to Africa when he told them in no uncertain terms, ‘’Africa does not need aid  rather the young people need investments’’ .

Going by his experience in promoting  SMEs in Africa over the last five years,  he disclosed that  ‘’private equity  is a force for the  positive development  in Africa’’. Note that, TEF, which is a Foundation founded by the  UBA Chairman, had endowed $100 million of his hard earned money  to take up the responsibility  of funding  over 10,000 African Entrepreneurs for a 10 year period.

He had given kudos to Macron, the French President, who had visited Nigeria,  over his initiative  in strengthening  the relationship  between France and African countries. An elated  Elumelu may have left France a happy person that  the French President  arrangement  in inviting  to consider investing in Africa on long term.

 Recall that Macron, the French President, had told those that cares to listen  in Europe that  ‘’no one should come to Africa for short term investment again’’, stressing that  the  time is now to invest in Africa and private equity , as canvassed by Elumelu , the Nigerian investor and Philanthropist   has to be part of it.’’ We need   it for  all’’ he had  said.

Elumelu has  taken the same message of seeking investment in African economies  to Belgium , another European  country   earlier this year.

 5,544 total views,  4 views today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.